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Most businesses nowadays understand that having a social media presence is imperative for the best exposure to their target audience. However, many dealerships start and stop and are very inconsistent. Perhaps that is because of time. Or, maybe it's because they don't know what to post – which can be a common problem. A problem shared by one of the most visible people in the world who just placed an advertisement for a position as her social media manager – the Queen of England! This is, at the very least, a testament to how vital visibility on social media is.
What then, can a dealer do to ensure consistent and engaging content on their social media profiles?
I just read an excellent article that could help. It lays out three different types of content your dealership can use to craft its social media strategy for the month. However, while it advocates a content "calendar," dealership activities and opportunities are dynamic, so take this as a “fill-in-the-blank” primer. Of course, you will always want to highlight and display happy customers when you can.
Here are some tips on the types of content that work:
1. Brand Awareness/Promotional – This type of content can include stories about your dealership, brand, or specials. Don’t listen to vendors who tell you to spam your audience with all of your inventory in your audience’s Facebook newsfeed. That will only annoy them and can, in fact, decrease your audience. It’s hard enough already to connect with more than 2% of them without paying for promoted posts or ads.
Audience engagement is the key to extended reach without spending your dealership’s marketing budget. Post content your customers want to see, not content that you want them to see. And, believe it or not, they want to know WHO you are – which means they want to see your employees, their personalities, pictures, and videos of dealership internal interactions. Remember, many prospective customers are using social media not just to CHOOSE a dealership, but to ELIMINATE dealerships. Don’t be eliminated.
2. Relevant and Timely Content – One of the most straightforward (and engaging) forms of content is relevant and timely news. For example, for a Chevrolet dealership, the hot topic could be the mid-engine Corvette. Your audience is dying to read that information. Be the one that provides it. If your make doesn’t have anything like that coming soon, articles that positively review a model you carry are also great as an indirect sales tool. Rather than focus on any special you currently offer for the model, entice consumers to be more interested in choosing it… and selecting it from YOUR dealership.
3. Educational – Most consumers don’t understand what a particular in-vehicle feature is; what the difference is between one make/model and a similar one; what a service recommendation means, etc. Yet, those topics make up some of the most popular (and most watched) videos on YouTube – the second largest search engine in the United States.
Producing content that educates consumers on when to do an oil change, why they need a new air filter, or even providing a walkaround video for a newly-released model is the information most consumers want to see and what they are looking for. Be the provider of that information.
4. Community Events and Holidays – Most dealerships are cornerstones of their communities. Not only are they usually charitable and very involved, but they are also highly recognizable because of that. Regardless of if your dealership is directly involved in a specific community event, there is nothing wrong with helping spread the news to your audience in support of these community events. Many people get their news and/or information from social media nowadays. By providing that information, you maintain authority as a provider of relevant information and stay top-of-mind. And, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with delivering a holiday message to them as well.
Some of this social media can be planned in advance; such as community events and holidays; some of this will be spontaneous, such as happy customers; and some can be a bit of a mixture of both, such as pictures of an employee birthday party or company Christmas party.
Regardless of the type of content, there are plenty of opportunities to stay in front of your customers, earn their eyeballs and, in the end, increase the chance that you can earn or keep their business.